This Fairhaven family is in the running for Disney & Points of Light "Volunteer Family of the Year."

United Way of Greater New Bedford nominated the Pickup family for the Disney and Points of Light Volunteer Family of the Year. They have made it to the top 30 families in the program's first nationwide search.

Each year, Stephanie Pickup and her four children - Taylor, Olivia, Abby, and Nathan - donate hundreds of hours to United Way of Greater New Bedford and other local organizations. Over the past year, the family has volunteered together by handing out fresh produce at United Way’s Mobile Market, assisted in the packaging of 100 Baby Bundles for moms in need, and each of them has taken on leading roles at the annual Hunger Heroes event where 1,000 Thanksgiving meals are packaged. Steph also volunteers for United Way’s Clambake Committee, Campaign Cabinet, and the Hunger Heroes planning Committee.

“We couldn’t think of a better family to nominate for the Disney & Points of Light Volunteer Family of the Year,” said Victoria Grasela, VP of Marketing & Community Engagement. “Their dedication and commitment to making a difference in Greater New Bedford are unparalleled and we are truly thankful for their efforts with us and others. Every time we run into one of the Pickups, we can always anticipate that they will ask “what’s the next project we can help with?”

The family was notified in early summer that they were moving forward in the search and became one of 80 families in the running for the award. Each family was asked to submit a two-minute video introducing themselves and why they should be the Volunteer Family of the Year. Once all videos were reviewed, 30 families, including the Pickups, moved forward to the Semi-Finals where they were interviewed by a Points of Light team member.

From October 7 to October 11, the top five families will be announced on Good Morning America (GMA) and America will be asked to vote for the winning family. The winning family will receive a trip to Walt Disney World Resort for a weeklong dream vacation and will join Disney for a super celebration on Family Volunteer Day, Saturday, November 23. Plus, the organization that nominated the winning family will receive a grant of $10,000 to continue their great work in the community.

“We are so excited to be part of this wonderful promotion – it is a fun and exciting way to share our passion for volunteering and support United Way of Greater New Bedford,” said Stephanie Pickup.

In addition to their service with United Way, the Pickup family volunteers their time with their church’s youth group, the Buttonwood Park Zoo, Lemonade Day, local road races, and their respective schools. Through their family’s company, Care Free Homes, they advocate every day on behalf of United Way. They encourage others to give back to the community by volunteering themselves; donating food, baby items, or school supplies; or making a financial contribution to further United Way’s work.

We have personal experience working with the Pickup family and even had the chance to volunteer alongside them at the Mobile Market event this week. Our community is so lucky to have such a kind, caring, and selfless family living here. There's no doubt they make our little corner of the world a little brighter.

Tune in to GMA from October 7 – October 11 to find out if the Pickup Family is in the top five for Disney & Points of Light Family Volunteer of the Year!

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